• Stephanie O’Hanley

Plenty of smiles at family-friendly Salon du VTT & Côte-à-Côte à Montréal


PHOTO BY ANDREW BELDING

Reilly Lefsrud, foreground, left, and Eamon Lefsrud, right, try out dirt bikes at Moto Folie's second annual Salon du VTT & Côte-à-Côte à Montréal. The peewee motocross track was a big hit with families.

During a sunny fall Saturday last weekend, a country fair atmosphere surrounded Vaudreuil-Dorion dealership Moto Folie for the second annual Salon du VTT & Côte-à-Côte à Montréal. Straw bales and festive balloons decorated a site filled with display tents and tables. A food truck from Pincourt-based Cheeburger Cheeburger met people’s hunger needs. Nearby, a Costco rep told visitors about a chance to save on Yamaha vehicles while Mario Charbonneau, president of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield-based Club VTT Les Débrouillards du Sûroit, explained the club’s activities.

The three-day Salon showcased all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and side-by-side vehicles made by Arctic Cat, Suzuki, Polaris, Yamaha and Honda. A dirt track made it possible for people to gear up and try out vehicles for themselves and there were plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

While some people buy vehicles, in many instances “they try them out for next year,” explained Bianca Delia, who handles marketing for Moto Folie “It’s not the same feeling driving a side-by-side (versus) an ATV. It’s very different.”

Delia said Moto Folie also has stores in Montreal’s east end and on the South Shore.

“We used to do an event in Montreal ….but since it’s in the east end, it’s on the highway, it’s a bit hard with everybody parking and stuff like that,” said Delia.

“I find it’s more friendly and people are more family oriented around here than in the east end, where it’s very downtownish, she said. “Here we have a lot of families that come. We have people from Hawkesbury that come down, we have people who come from Oka by ferry.”

Looking over 500 tickets from last year’s Salon, Delia said attendees included people from the area and beyond. “I had people past Blainville. I was very surprised.”

Delia said Canadian Tire helped Moto Folie distribute event tickets. For its part, Moto Folie helped the St. Lazare Stallions football association, she said. “We told them if they sell the tickets, they keep the funds for their team. Even today what we’re doing instead of keeping the money for the tickets... the donation goes to the daycare right behind. We told everybody we don’t want any funds.”

A peewee Motocross track for kids 5-12 years old proved a big hit with families.

“We sold tickets for this as a fundraiser for the Stallions,” said Hudson resident Casey Finn Lefsrud, who took her son, Eamon, 8, daughter Reilly, 7, and a friend to try the dirt bikes for the first time.

After the children suited up and donned helmets, spotters showed them how to ride the kid-sized motorcycles and guided them on the track.

Vaudreuil-Dorion resident Marco Di Zazzo, whose older son “was dying to get on a dirt bike,” said it was his family’s second visit.

“I came here last year,” said Di Zazzo. “I loved it. My kids have a great time. That’s why we come back every year.”

“Last year I tried the side-by-side Polaris and the Arctic Cat,” he said, adding that he liked the Polaris better. “I just like the way they’re designed. They’re higher up and they have more ground clearance. Last year the Arctic Cat was hitting the top of the bump so I like something that’s higher up.”

Later, Di Zazzo drove his younger son around in a black Polaris and Finn Lefsrud smiled as she took the children for a ride in a bright red Yamaha side-by-side.

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